Visual motion planning for mobile robots

Hong Zhang, James P. Ostrowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


This paper presents a novel framework for image-based motion planning, which we term Visual Motion Planning. The method skips the step of transferring image features back to robot pose, and hence makes motion plans directly in the image plane. Analogous to visual serve control the visual motion planning concept takes advantage of the image features to achieve a direct and fast motion planning solution. It provides a "virtual" trajectory in the image plane for the robot to track with standard visual servoing techniques. In this paper, we show the result of applying the idea to simulated 2-D and 3-D mobile robot systems. Within this motion planning paradigm, we also discuss the mechanisms for taking advantage of surplus features and incorporating image-based constraints, such as requiring that the images remain in the field of view. Experimental results using a Pioneer AT ground mobile robot are presented, showing excellent agreement with theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-208
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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